To sum it up, my job search thus far has been a roller coaster. With every rejection, ignored application, and one-time call-back, I have become more and more immune to the disappointment. It can be very stressful and disheartening, and I’ve questioned my motivation many times. But here are some things I realised along the way:
The future is unpredictable, but planning ahead never hurts. Make the best use of what your education provider has to offer in terms of careers development support. I ended up not going to as many networking events and career workshops as I had hoped for. For the gatherings that I did go to, I was too nervous and socially awkward.
Start looking early to maximise your time. I’ve had an interview offer retracted due to my work visa being for less than 12 months. I’ve learned it can take some time to find that first job after studying, and it’s important to start looking early – even before your final exams. If you find a job that’s relevant to your qualification, you can apply for a Post Study Work Visa – Employer Assisted to allow you to work in New Zealand for another 2 years.
Give yourself breaks along the way to reflect on all the positives and negatives. Sending out applications day after day can be exhausting, so I’ve found that giving myself some days off can boost my level of attentiveness for later applications. But of course, the hard part is the self-discipline required to get back on track.
Last but not least, don’t give up! Yes, it sounds simple in words, but there may be times when giving up seems like the only way out. You need to know that you have done your best and have no avoidable regrets. A friend of mine who had already been rejected by her dream company, persevered by reaching out to the HR manager about improving her application. Eventually a new vacancy opened up there, and she was hired.
Meanwhile, I am gaining work experience through temporary job placements and fuelling my entrepreneurial spirit by assisting at an online business start-up, Sarca Kriya, founded by two artists. It’s a unique opportunity where I can learn and experience first-hand how a business is established in New Zealand with its ups and downs. I believe that every little bit helps and am enjoying trying out new things at every step of my journey after university so far.
You never know when that opportunity of a lifetime will come. To my fellow graduates, congratulations! And to those who are in their job search or have already found one in New Zealand, I wish you nothing but the best!